Health Insurance Employee Benefits Healthcare

News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments - December 2015

ALERT: IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadlines. With only a few days remaining in 2015, the IRS provided some welcome relief for employers subject to certain Affordable Care Act reporting requirements. Under IRS Notice 2016-4,...more

Implementation of ACA’s Controversial “Cadillac Tax” Delayed Until 2020

Among the many requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act, none are more controversial than the excise tax to be imposed on expensive health plans. This provision of the law, commonly known as the “Cadillac Tax,” would...more

Budget Legislation Repeals Affordable Care Act’s Automatic Enrollment Requirement for Large Employers

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-74, which was signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, included a little-publicized provision that repealed the Affordable Care Act’s automatic enrollment requirement. ...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), consistent with prior regulations from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), issued supplemental proposed regulations requiring employer sponsored health plans to provide...more

2016 Cost of Living Increases are Rare

On October 21, 2015, in Information Release 2015-118, the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments to various dollar limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") for pension plans and other related items for the...more

President Obama Signs ACA Change Into Law

While Republican efforts to effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the budget reconciliation process have garnered attention, Congress's recent passage of a bipartisan bill making targeted changes to the law...more

Claims Administrators can be Liable for Violations of the Mental Health Parity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA) requires health plans to treat mental health and physical health benefits in much the same manner and precludes restrictions on mental health benefits that are not also...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2015

IRS Issues New Draft Form 1095-C and Instructions. On August 6, 2015, the IRS published its most recent updates to Form 1095-C and the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Beginning in early 2016, applicable large...more

HHS Proposes Rules for Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed new regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits...more

Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a...more

Final Rule Regarding Preventive Services Under ACA

The Department of the Treasury, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules regarding coverage of certain preventive services required to be provided under ACA without cost sharing by...more

IRS Issues Second Notice on Cadillac Tax

On July 30, the IRS issued Notice 2015-52, which provides guidance regarding the “Cadillac Tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Earlier this year, the IRS issued Notice 2015- 16, which represented the first...more

IRS Provides Q&As on PCORI Fee

The IRS has provided Q&As regarding the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. The fee applies to issuers of specified health insurance policies as well as plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health...more

Employee Benefits Alert - August 2015

Retirement Plans - IRS Issues Guidance on Benefit Suspension Voting under MPRA - As we have written in prior alerts, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) permits trustees of financially troubled...more

IRS Issues New Forms for ACA Reporting; Congress Increases Penalties for Failure to Meet Requirements

The IRS has completed drafts of the 2015 forms and instructions for employers, insurers, and other health plan sponsors to use to meet their reporting obligations for the employer and individual mandates under the Affordable...more

Second Circuit holds that the Affordable Care Act does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

On August 7, 2015, in Catholic Health Care System v. Burwell, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) is not violated by certain regulations promulgated under the...more

Limiting an Employee’s Hours to Avoid Offering Group Health Plan Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: Evaluating the Risks...

Business leaders and human resources and employee benefits professionals are well aware of potential minefields for employer group health plan sponsors under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employer plan sponsors are...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2015

Health Insurance Company’s HIPAA Breach Affects Millions. At the end of January, a national BlueCross BlueShield affiliate, Anthem, Inc., discovered that its information technology systems were hacked. The information...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Reimbursement Changes, Shift to Consumerism Discussed at Akerman Healthcare Briefing

Changing reimbursement models and a shift to consumerism were two of the hot topics discussed at Akerman LLP's recent Healthcare Briefing event titled "Financial and Corporate Implications of the Affordable Care Act: A Look...more

Airline Industry Alert: RLA System Board Rules That Cessation of Operations as an Air Carrier Resulted in Termination of the CBA

In a recent decision, an RLA System Board of Adjustment has ruled that unilateral termination of a pilot retiree health insurance plan was permissible because the underlying CBA had terminated....more

Employer Reimbursements For Health Insurance Policy Premiums–Care Needed

Employers who reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for premiums the employees pay on their own individual health insurance policies (whether under an Obamacare Exchange or otherwise) are at risk for a $100 per day per...more

Massachusetts Repeals Fair Share Contribution, HIRD Form Requirements

Massachusetts has repealed two main components of its landmark 2006 heath care reform law. Effective July 1, 2013, employers are no longer required to make a "fair share" contribution (FSC) to employees' health insurance...more

What To Do About DOMA? Recent U.S. Supreme Court Case Carries Significant Implications For Employee Benefit Plans - Employers Need...

On June 26, 2013, in U.S. v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") was unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA provided that, for the purpose of any federal law, "marriage"...more

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